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Derbyshire alternative provision directory

Alternative provision refers to education that a student receives away from their school, arranged by local authorities or by the schools themselves.


All alternative providers have the same duty as mainstream schools to keep students safe and comply with education guidance from the Department for Education (DfE).

The alternative provision directory is a list of providers that are available to Derbyshire school students.

Providers on the directory have offered assurance that they:

  • follow procedures for safeguarding as advised in 'Keeping Children Safe in Education' which includes annual safeguarding training
  • follow safer recruitment
  • are aware of the PREVENT duty
  • are aware of their duty to promote British values and social, moral, spiritual and cultural opportunities
  • comply with health and safety procedures
  • comply with data protection legislation
  • will employ appropriately experienced and qualified staff that are able to educate students with varied learning and behavioural needs
  • record and report student attendance
  • work to ensure equality and diversity

The directory also includes providers that are out of county but within close travelling distance to the Derbyshire border such as Mansfield, Nottingham, Sheffield, Worksop and Stockport.

We're not responsible for making recommendations on the suitability of providers for use by individual schools or whether they will deliver the perceived benefits. Such evaluations must be made by school management and governors in accordance with the school's financial procedures and legal obligations.

We take no responsibility for the monitoring of students at these providers and it is the responsibility of the referring school to check the relevant compliancy documents and that working practices are being adhered to.

When an alternative provider must become registered as an independent school

Alternative providers have a duty to be registered with the DfE if they educate one student with a Education, Health and Care Plan, or 5 other students, for the majority of their timetable. Full time education is 18 hours or more per week. Providers must comply with this guidance to ensure that they are educating students legally. All registered alternative providers are subject to Ofsted inspections. Very few are currently registered schools. If they are found to be acting illegally, the business will be closed.

Quality of alternative providers

The School Inspection Handbook September 2018 page 74 states that:

"Inspectors… should make every effort to telephone or meet staff in the institutions where pupils are taught off-site to help assess the school's quality assurance arrangements. They must evaluate the rigour with which the school monitors the attendance, behaviour, learning and progress of the pupils who attend them.

"Inspectors must visit a sample of the placements during an inspection… and should give priority to visiting unregistered providers."

The directory does not offer any reassurance of the quality of the teaching and learning delivered by the providers. The responsibility of the quality of the alternative provision used rests with the commissioner. Please contact the alternative providers directly to discuss commissioning, evidence of their compliancy and to discuss how you'll measure their quality.

Alternative Provision Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities, January 2013 states:

"Commissioners should maintain on-going contact with the provider and students and have clear procedures in place to exchange information, monitor progress and provide pastoral support."

Production of the directory

The directory will be updated with additional alternative providers as they are sourced. There will be regular updates to the directory.

If you have any enquiries, would like to recommend any other companies, or, if you have any concerns about the any of the alternative providers listed in the directory, please email: jdix@avesc.derbyshire.sch.uk